Tuesday, July 21st 2020 – The Great House Extension Project (Day 2)
No building whatsoever today, and no contact from anyone apart from a brief communication from the architect saying he thought we could “just cut the tree down and worry about it later” and saying that he had asked Rob, our Structural Engineer, to come over tomorrow and estimate the depths of the roots of the tree in question. I duly contacted Rob and left him a message saying that he could come over any time tomorrow. After all, we’re not going anywhere. He messaged back to say he could do the drawings from home, and there was no need for a site visit as far as he could tell.
A Facebook conversation with a friend in Australia was altogether more helpful, because he was able to explain a variety of things to us, including the fact that if it was less than 75mm around the trunk we could simply go ahead. Sadly, it’s closer to 75cm in diameter, so that was off the table. He was also able to link me to a place where I could check as to whether there is a Tree Preservation Order on it. If the map is fully up-to-date then it doesn’t have a TPO on it. He also provided a lot of useful information as to how we go about getting permission to remove the damn thing.
Whatever the architect says, I think we will need to request permission, which will be a pain because there’s a note in the paperwork that says this takes at least 6 weeks. Which means no building work for at least 6 more weeks. I am not happy about this, to put it mildly. At least one of the contacts I have has enabled me to find out the name of the “tree person” at the council so we know who we need to talk to.
Luckily the building materials and detritus from Day 1 is confined to one area of the garden so we still have space outside that we can use. Oh and the local thrush population seem to be enjoying rooting about for insects in the places where the raised flower bed was.
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Take care not to antagonise the tree preservation order people at the council. The people wanting to build on the (highly unsuitable) wild wood across the road did that. Now every single tree has a temporary TPO on it, until such time as the council can inspect each individually.
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